Wednesday, 13 February 2013

New book sheds light on 17th-century Dublin life

A partial reconstruction of the vestry records of St Audeon's, Cornmarket, Dublin 2, was launched in that church on Monday evening and provides valuable insights into the life of the parish and the city of Dublin in the 17th century.

While the parish registers from the late 17th century have survived, the vestry minutes have not; they may have been lost in the 1922 fire. The newly published book – The Vestry Records of the Parish of St Audoen, Dublin, 1636–1702, edited by Dr Maighr√©ad N√≠ Mhurchadha – is based largely on printed extracts from the originals which were published in the Irish Builder and previously unpublished transcripts in Marsh’s Library made by the Revd Christopher McCready.

At the launch, Professor Raymond Gillespie of the History Department of NUI Maynooth, said the book was important because it cast a light on what was a central moment in the emergence of the parish system. He said St Audoen’s was a unique parish as it was attached to the Roman Catholic Guild of St Anne. He added that the church lies at the centre of the early modern city. “They are not simply the records of a church, they are not simply the records of a denomination, but they are the records of the life of a city,” he stated.

The hardback book costs €55 (€49.50 if purchased online) and is available from the publishers, Four Courts Press.